What to Book Now: Europe River Cruises
Thinking of planning a trip to Europe? An increasingly popular way visit Europe is with a river cruise vacation. We feel that a river cruise is a fantastic way to see Europe because they combine the best of what a blue-water cruise offers (unpack once, fine dining, transport between cities while you’re sleeping) with the hands-on experience of European land-based tours.
Other highlights of river cruising include:
• Voyages are destination oriented- most river cruises dock in the very heart of the historic cities they visit
• Immersive shore excursions are often included
• Small, intimate ships-while each cruise line and ship varies, most river cruise ships hold no more than 200 guests
• Inclusive Value- most river cruises include tours in the various cities, soft drinks, regional wines and beers with meals, and complimentary wireless Internet access
Because River Cruises are increasingly popular and because ships are smaller, it is always wise to book early as river cruises sell out much faster than ocean cruises. So, if a Europe river cruise is on your mind for next year, now is the time to start planning!
Avalon Waterways Cruise Specials
We have a number of specials right now with one of our favorite river cruise providers, Avalon Waterways:
• Receive $1,000 off per cabin when you book select 2014 Avalon River Cruises
• Or, when you book any 2014 Europe River cruise with air from applicable U.S. gateways through Avalon, you will receive $350 to $400 air credit per person
• Plus, CruiseDeals.com will pay for your gratuities for any and all river cruises!
(Please note the $1,000 off and air credit promotions are not combinable with each other)
What we love about Avalon Waterways:
• We find Avalon to be in the middle of the pricing spectrum and offer a lot for the money
• Very young fleet
• Standard staterooms are typically some of the largest
• Most Avalon ships feature a French Balcony concept with a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door that opens up and your cabin essentially becomes your balcony
• Avalon is also part of Globus, meaning they have a great “ground game” and can offer a lot of pre and post cruise city stays, land tours, and other extras that are integrated with your cruise
I’ve picked out some of my favorite Europe river cruise deals for 2014, be sure to check them out below! Also, if you were hoping to find a last minute river cruise deal, you aren’t completely out of luck- there is still some availability and I have picked out my top deal for a 2013 river cruise below!
Handpicked Avalon River Cruise Deals
Packing tips for Avalon River Cruises:
When you’re getting ready to embark on your Avalon Waterways River Cruise, keep these packing tips in mind!
l) Pack sturdy walking shoes. Shore excursions from river cruises – which Avalon includes in the price – are often walking tours of medieval towns. Since cobblestones and elegant heels don’t mix, be sure you have some shoes that can go the distance.
2) Bring casual-chic clothes for dinner. While most big ships have formal nights, on Avalon you’ll be comfortable in less dressy duds. For the captain’s dinner, a jacket is suggested for men (no tie required) and ladies will be fine in clothes they’d wear at a cocktail party at home. Otherwise, dinner attire is fairly casual.
3) Pack your laptop. This year, Avalon has added free wifi to its European cruise ships. A great way to stay in touch with family at home and share photos on board with new friends.
4) Bring along a day pack, it will be handy. Avalon has added complimentary use of Nordic walking sticks and a day pack will leave your hands free. And of course you’ll need room for souvenirs!
5) Some Euro coins. Make sure you get some small change when you arrive in Europe as it’s customary to tip your shore excursion guides a couple of Euros (about $2.50). Day trips are included in your river cruise, and you’ll be saving money elsewhere, too: unlike big ships, Avalon includes wine and beer with dinner, as well as exotic coffees such as cappuccinos which are available throughout the day.[fblike]